Scottish Football Begins to Sever Ties with Gambling
by Glenn Baird - February 24, 2020
It was announced this weekend that Scottish Football association would not be renewing their contract with William Hill that runs out on the 30th of June this year.
William Hill are the current sponsors of the Scottish Cup, the Scottish National team and the betting giants have their name attached to one of the stands at the country’s national stadium.
A 5-year deal was struck in 2015 but links between the two go back further, with the national team sponsorship in place since 2011.
The decision not renew the deal comes not long after the SPFL announced they would be ending their sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes, another of the UK’s major betting companies.
This sentiment was echoed just last week as Everton revealed that they would be ending their affiliation with SportPesa, a move that could herald the beginning of similar move amongst football clubs in the UK.
However, it is likely that any move within Scottish club football could be much slower to take root. The two biggest clubs in the country both have kit deals with large betting companies, as do some of the smaller clubs. Scottish football does not have the same levels of TV revenue that English football does, which could mean that the severing of these financial relationships is much further down the line north of the border.
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive had this to say on the matter: “The Scottish FA would like to thank William Hill for their investment in Scottish football over the past decade. Their sponsorship has enabled development in many aspects of the game, through the Scottish Cup, men’s national team and Hampden Park, but has also supported key initiatives such as the Hampden Sports Clinic’s mental health programme.”
Liam McKee, William Hill Head of Media and Sponsorship added: “The Scottish Cup is a unique and vibrant competition and it has been honour to be associated with it. We would like to thank the Scottish FA for being a great partner and wish Ian Maxwell and his team the best of luck in the future.”
It is certainly unclear which half of the relationship chose the pull the ripcord on the deal but at a time when the gambling industry in the UK is coming under increasing fire there are mutual benefits for both parties.
The Scottish Premier League is currently sponsored by Ladbrokes and it will be interesting to find out if, come the end of that deal in the summer renewals take place